Tag Archives: mousse

The Kasbah Chronicles Jan/Feb 2012



February 2 marks La Chandeleur (Candlemas), when crêpes are de rigueur on French tables–a tradition my mother upheld all the while I was growing up in Casablanca. Simply sprinkled a crêpe with a little powdered sugar, and celebrate! Another cause for celebration is

La Saint Valentin

and this sumptuous dessert 

 A tulip (pesticide free, of course) as a receptacle for chocolate mousse! The recipe for the mousse au chocolat comes from my grandmother and is exerpted from my lovely little gift book, Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion (Ten Speed Press, 1995). 

Chocolate Moussed Tulips

serves 6 to 8

Tulip (Tulipa species and cultivars):  Tulips originated in Turkey, and over the centuries acquired enormous commercial value, not only in Asia Minor were the bulbs were once used as currency, but in countries like the Netherlands were tulips eventually became part of the national landscape.  From an edible standpoint, the petals of the tulip have a light crunch, and make beautiful edible receptacles for fruit sorbets, sweet or savory mousses, or finely minced, crisp vegetables.  Their delicate sweetness is especially prevalent in the white, peach or pink-colored blooms, ideally suited to this filling of chocolate mousse.    

 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

1/3 cup sweet butter

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

3 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 teaspoons sugar

12 to 14 tulips, rinsed and dried

2 pints raspberries, rinsed and drained

     In the top of a double boiler, or inside a bowl set in a pan filled with simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth.  Stir in the butter.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Stir in egg yolks, one at a time, then the Grand Marnier.  Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until fairly stiff. Halfway through, add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. With a spatula, carefully fold the chocolate mixture into the beaten egg whites. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes. Mound a teaspoon or two of mousse in the bottom of each of 8 dessert cups and keep refrigerated.

      Prepare tulips for filling.  Carefully push petals apart, and with a small pair of scissors, cut out pistil and stamen.  Cut off the stem. Fill each blossom 3/4 full with mousse, gently holding the petals. Press a filled tulip into each cup so that it stays upright in the chilled mousse.  Surround with a few raspberries. Chill until ready to serve.

copyright 1995

Couscous Mango Mousse/Mousse de Couscous a la Mangue

Couscous Mango Mousse

Serves 6

I demonstrated this recipe on Sara’s Secrets with Sarah Moulton of the Food TV channel. Kids LOVE this! Use peaches if you don’t have mangoes.

1 cup water
3/4 cup couscous
4 tablespoons sugar
2 juice oranges, preferably Valencia
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur
1 ripe mango (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream, chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
One 8-ounce container vanilla yogurt

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add couscous in a stream. Stir once. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand until the couscous is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Mix in 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Cover tightly and set aside.

Scrub one of the oranges under running water and pat dry. With a vegetable peeler, remove the zest, being careful not to peel away any of the white pith. Finely mince the zest. Set aside.

Squeeze the oranges to obtain about 3/4 cup of juice. Strain through a medium meshed sieve into a small saucepan. Over medium heat, boil down the juice until it has reduced to about 2 tablespoons, and has the consistency of molten honey, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the Cointreau. Set aside.

Peel the mango and cut the flesh away from the seed. Cut half into thin wedges and coarsely dice the rest. Set aside.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold in the vanilla and remaining sugar. Refrigerate one cup of whipped cream for serving. In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the whipped cream with the yogurt and diced mango. Refrigerate.

Immediately before serving, combine yogurt-mango mixture and couscous. Spoon equal amounts into 6 parfait glasses. Top each one with a dollop of the reserved whipped cream and a mango wedge. Drizzle with orange-Cointreau sauce, sprinkle with minced orange zest, and serve.

From Couscous: Fresh and Flavorful Contemporary Recipes. Chronicle Books, 2000.